Due to its sacramental nature, the Church celebrates each of the seven gifts by which we are strengthened and enriched by the Lord’s graces. The sacrament of Marriage is one that brings great blessings to the couple who is wed, to their family and friends, and to the Church as a whole. As such, the Cathedral parish strives to help couples prepare for not only a wedding day, but for a lifetime of grace filled blessings in the relationship that will help lead them into eternal salvation. The following guidelines have been developed over time as a way to best serve the sacrament, the couple, and the community at large. The Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception is the Mother Church of the Archdiocese of Denver. Weddings will be celebrated for all Catholics in the Archdiocese based upon availability.
- Any couple considering marriage for a second time should be aware that time must be given for a possible annulment procedure. Archdiocesan law prohibits the scheduling of a wedding until the annulment process is complete and an affirmative decision has been given.
- The Archdiocese requires a minimum eight-month preparation period, and it is recommended that the engaged couple begin their preparation and request their wedding date reservation at the Cathedral a year in advance due to the large number of requests that we receive.
- The wedding fee is $1300.00. This fee includes the use of the Cathedral and the services of a security officer. It does not include the fees for the services of the organist and a cantor, a stipend (donation) to the priest or deacon who witnesses the marriage or the cost of Marriage Preparation Programs through the Archdiocese. A non-refundable deposit of $500.00 is required at the time of reservation of the date and time of the wedding.
- The couple should schedule an appointment with the priest or deacon who is responsible for marriage preparation for an initial interview. After that interview, the couple may schedule their wedding date with the Parish Administrator, and that date and time will be confirmed by letter from the Cathedral.
- The Parish Administrator will schedule a time for the couple to take the FOCCUS (Facilitating Open Couple Communications, Understanding and Study) inventory, and set up times to discuss the results. Designated married couples who assist in the marriage preparation program may facilitate this.
- The engaged couple should also check with the Office of Marriage and Family Life of the Archdiocese (www.archden.org), or call 303-715-3259 to register for additional classes that are part of the marriage preparation process.
- For Catholic(s), a current copy of each individual’s baptismal certificate (issued within 6 months of the wedding date) from the parish of baptism. The baptismal certificates must be given to the priest or deacon who is completing the wedding paperwork. Non-Catholics are asked to try and obtain a copy of their baptismal certificate.
- Pre-nuptial investigation form filled out with the priest or deacon.
- Marriage License – The State of Colorado requires a Marriage License, which is valid only for thirty days. The wedding cannot be performed without a license. The license must be given to the wedding coordinator at the rehearsal.
A Nuptial Mass is the usual form for the celebration of the Sacrament of Matrimony between two Catholics
A marriage between a Catholic and a baptized Christian is usually celebrated outside of Mass.
A marriage between a Catholic and an unbaptized person is always celebrated outside of Mass.
You will receive a booklet titled Together for Life, which contains the scripture readings that may be used in the ceremony and the texts for the Marriage Rite. When meeting with the priest or deacon who will be witnessing your marriage, you should discuss the readings and any other questions regarding your ceremony. You should provide the celebrant with the selection form from Together for Life at the final meeting before the rehearsal.
According to the Archdiocesan guidelines, only Eucharistic Ministers who are mandated to the Cathedral may help distribute Holy Communion. Friends or family members mandated to their own parish may not distribute Holy Communion at the Cathedral.
- The Cathedral does not provide candelabra. Candelabra used in the sanctuary for decoration must have glass shields to prevent dripping wax or being blown out by the ventilation system. The glass shields must be taller than the candles. Candelabra or candles may not be placed down the aisle or attached to the pews.
- The Cathedral will provide altar candles.
- An aisle runner is not necessary, and is not allowed here at the Cathedral for safety reasons.
- The tossing of flower petals is not allowed.
- Liturgy/song books cannot be removed from the pews.
- Wedding programs are acceptable but are done by and at the expense of the couple.
The rehearsal is usually a day or two prior to the wedding, and is usually booked at the time the wedding is booked.
Please be on time, and please advise all of your wedding party that they must be on time. One hour is reserved for the rehearsal, so come prepared. Other rehearsals or events may precede or follow your rehearsal.
The Cathedral wedding coordinator will handle the rehearsal. Outside wedding coordinators cannot come and run the rehearsal at the Cathedral.
The Cathedral organist does not attend the rehearsal.
Prior to the rehearsal, the couple should decide upon the type of procession for the wedding as detailed in the Together for Life booklet, and as follows:
- Both bride and groom accompanied by parents, preceded by groomsmen, bridesmaids and presiding clergy;
- Bride accompanied by father and groom accompanied by parents preceded by groomsmen, bridesmaids and presiding clergy;
- Or another variation of the procession that you should discuss with the celebrant, for his approval prior to the rehearsal.
All parts of the liturgy are expected to conform to the Church’s standards for noble, sacred and appropriate expressions of prayer and celebration. As such, although many tastes in music are expressed by those approaching the sacrament of Marriage, the decisions on what is appropriate and fitting for the liturgical celebration, and the sacred setting, will ultimately be dependent upon the experience and knowledge of the clergy and staff of the Cathedral. For this reason, we offer assistance and recommendations.
Once a month the Organist schedules Wedding Music Selection Sessions usually on Monday evenings. The list of dates for 2017 is available from the Cathedral Office and mailed to wedding couples quarterly.
All couples are urged to attend one of these sessions, as they provide a unique opportunity to hear a wide range of music choices for the Processional, Recessional and Liturgical Music. At the evening sessions you can select your music and ask any questions you may have about your wedding music.
The wedding fee of $1300 for the Cathedral does not include the services of a Cathedral Organist and vocalist. If additional or other musicians are desired (e.g. trumpet, violin, flute, harp, etc.), arrangements can be made with several musicians who have performed at the Cathedral repeatedly. Their fee will be in addition to the wedding fee and has to be paid directly to the individuals who will be singing and/or playing at the wedding. All musicians who perform at the Cathedral Basilica need approval from the Director of Music Ministry.
The best way to contact the organist is by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by telephone at 303.831.7010
Bridal Room – The bridal room is for the convenience of the bride and her attendants. The bridesmaids should come fully dressed, but there is room for the bride to put on her dress, as well as sufficient mirrors for touching up hair and makeup. All belongings must be removed before the ceremony begins. We suggest that you have one person remove all items and lock them in the trunk of a car, prior to coming into the Cathedral. Please be in the vestibule ten minutes before the beginning of the wedding.
We do not have a separate room for the groom and his groomsmen.
The Cathedral is not liable for lost or stolen items in the Cathedral proper or any other church area.
Parking: There are 14 parking spaces in the lot just east of Mary’s Garden. Additional parking may be found on the streets around the Cathedral or in parking lots that charge for their use. Parking is not allowed in the alley next to the Cathedral since it is a fire lane.
You may contact Mary Jette at Hall & Hall at 303-832-4721 to discuss reserving a parking lot on Logan Street. Please contact Hall & Hall before you print your invitations with any parking information in them, because they have specific instructions, and you must negotiate a rate for the use of their parking lot. Prohibitions:
- ALCOHOL OR DRUGS ARE NOT ALLOWED IN THE CATHEDRAL OR ON THE CATHEDRAL GROUNDS.
- Rice, confetti, birdseed, etc. may not be thrown inside or outside the Cathedral by Denver City Ordinance.
- The sound system is not available for cassette playing or any other electronic device.
- The doors to the Cathedral cannot be locked during the ceremony. Set up times are as follows for each wedding – 9:00 am for the 10:00 am wedding; 12:45 pm for the 1:30 pm wedding; and 5:30 pm for the 6:30 pm wedding.
The photographer, whether a professional or a family friend, must consult with the wedding coordinator at the Cathedral to discuss the pictures taken during the ceremony. Posed group pictures may be taken up to 15 minutes prior to the beginning of the wedding, because guests will be arriving at that time.
You will have 30 minutes after the ceremony for posed group pictures. This must be done quickly and quietly,because you are in Church, and other services may be in progress. Your wedding ceremony must begin on time, or your picture taking time will be cut short by the amount of time that your ceremony was delayed. Make a list of the pictures you want, and inform those you want in the pictures not to leave the Cathedral until their pictures are taken.
After the ceremony, please go down the main aisle and return to the Main Altar by the west side aisle, so the pictures may begin. Do not greet your guests at this time; you will be able to do that at your reception.
Because of the presence of the Blessed Sacrament at the high altar, pictures are not allowed in front of the high altar. All photographs must be taken at the main altar (the lower altar). The photographer may not walk in the sanctuary, and may not move any furniture, candleholders or chairs. All off camera lights, strobe lights, and umbrella lights are not allowed.
Spontaneous photography during the ceremony is permitted only at designated locations by the photographer. Spontaneous photography by the guests is strictly prohibited. “Roving” photographers/videographers are not allowed (family or professional).
The photographer may take pictures of the wedding party coming down the aisle from the center break of the church, not from the front. Once the Bride is at the steps of the Sanctuary, the photographer may not move around during the ceremony.
The videographer and/or photographer must remain inconspicuous. The video camera must be placed on a tripod, and remain stationary. The best location for setting up the tripod for camera or video is the west side altar, the Sacred Heart altar. Photographs may also be taken from the choir loft. The videographer may not sit while in the sanctuary.
- The Cathedral does not provide any special decorations. We do not provide storage for any items, so deliveries must be made the day of the wedding. Floral deliveries must be made on the east side of the Cathedral, to the set of double wooden doors located just behind Mary’s Garden. Florists must check with the wedding coordinator regarding a suitable time for delivery. The staff of the Cathedral will not sign for any deliveries and are not liable for any items.
- Christian liturgy is marked by elegance and simplicity. In 90% of the weddings in the Cathedral, the only flowers used are the Bride’s bouquet, and flowers carried by the bridesmaids.
- If you desire pew bows or other decorations on the pews, no tape or tacks are permitted. Pew clips must be used, or bows may be tied with ribbon or hung with pipe cleaners. There are 23 pews on each side of the main aisle.
- All decorations must be prepared before bringing them into the Cathedral.
- After the wedding, special decorations must be removed from the Cathedral immediately, including candelabra, pew bows, unity candle, ring pillows, etc. Please assign this duty to someone in your wedding party. We do not have storage space to hold these items for you, and we are not responsible for any of these items left behind in the Cathedral. Please be careful of hot, liquid candle wax.
- If items have been forgotten in the Cathedral, please have a family member or friend give the parish office a call on the Monday after the wedding to arrange for pickup of any items left.
Please keep in mind the solemnity and dignity of your wedding ceremony. Even though current fashions can be very revealing, there are many choices that can be made for the bridal gown and bridesmaids’ dresses. If the top is very bare, you should consider wearing a small jacket or a shawl (quite often an option for the bridesmaids’ dresses).
If you have any questions regarding these guidelines, please feel free to contact the Parish Administrator, Stephanie McCutcheon, at 303-839-0226.